Meet Toby Cutts: An International Student Who Pursued His Passion and Chose to Study in the USA on His Own Terms
Why study in America? Why not study in the UK? Isn't education cheaper in the UK? Didn’t you have to work hard to study abroad? Why didn’t you just pick the easy route?
Because I wanted to.
In the UK you have very finite options of what to do with your life until that golden moment when you have finished your A-levels or apprenticeship. Up until this point, like most education systems, you are given two choices. Do this next level of study or fail. Do your exams or fail. Pick an apprenticeship or A-levels or fail.
So like the very defiant person I have become, I made the decision that once I was done being told what to choose then I would choose exactly what I wanted to do exactly where I wanted to do it. And so this is what I did. Years ago I made this decision, and years later, it’s the only decision I never doubted. In the years that I took to work, saving every penny I could, and in the months since beginning my studies, I have learnt so many valuable lessons that were ingrained in me before I even entered the classroom.
Learning how to consistently work towards a goal built a solid work ethic in me that I will have my entire life. Then seeing that dream becoming a reality — boarding the Boeing in London and stepping off another plane in Seattle. Coming from a small village in the UK to now studying amongst students from all over the globe. And finally beginning my studies and career goals in environmental science has shown me how consistency, patience, and dedication can pay off.
If you could go back and do anything differently would you?
Such a drastic change such as studying abroad builds a person’s perspective. In anthropology, we learn about the emic perspective: the perspective one has of their own culture as an inside view. And the etic perspective: the perspective one has of another culture as an outsider's view. In this way, I have learnt the importance of perspective and in that way, there would be things I would do differently.
Now I have learnt both the emic and etic perspectives of my home, my past, and my new environment, I do not think I would have done much differently at all. Except planned my time better during my commute to the states perhaps? This would have saved me a lot of running through airports.
If you have enjoyed this brief insight into how and why I came to study at Green River College and would like to read more about my unique experiences since being here then please check out my blog at tobygrc.wordpress.com.
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